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Thursday, 27 July 2023: Many will recognise her as the SPAR Proteas centre who wowed the crowds at four Netball World Cups. But for now, Erin Burger has joined the ranks of the hundreds of volunteers who have freely offered their services to make the Netball World Cup 2023 a success.

Burger earned over 120 caps for the SPAR Proteas and finally decided to call time on her illustrious career, which included being named Most Valuable Player at the Netball World Cup 2011 in Singapore, after the last global tournament in Liverpool four years ago.

Now she’s offering her services at the Netball World Cup which is set to get under way this Friday, 28th July in Cape Town.

Speaking about her decision to volunteer at the tournament, Burger explained: “I wanted to be a part of the World Cup – I knew that – and I love being able to make a difference and to help, so I just felt that being a volunteer would be a perfect opportunity.”

The 36-year-old who has gone into full-time coaching since her retirement added that she was hoping to work with one of the visiting teams to be able to learn from their coaches.

“I thought it would be cool moving in and around some of the international coaching, getting to a position where you can ask them a few questions so that was my backup plan,” she said.

Speaking about the role she’s been assigned, Burger added: “At the moment, I’m behind the scenes at the main facility. I’m just making sure everything is running smoothly and I’ve got other volunteers working with me.

“We’re at the back of the main venue sorting out all the teams – letting them be in the right space at the right time, ready to go out on court.”

With several of Burger’s former teammates still in the SPAR Proteas team, she may have been tempted to make a comeback with the prospect of a home World Cup on the horizon.

“The thought has crossed my mind – whether I would have liked to have played a World Cup on home soil – but I was quite sure when I made the decision to retire and to go into coaching and start working rather than just playing. I wanted to make a difference.

“I wanted to use what I’ve learnt and share that with everyone so I felt it was a good time for me to make that decision. I don’t regret it yet and I am in and around netball a lot so it doesn’t feel like I’m missing playing. The other day I had breakfast with Karla [Pretorius] and I felt – that’s my roommate and I could’ve still played. The thought every now and then crosses my mind but I don’t have any regrets.”

As for how a home Netball World Cup might boost the sport on the continent Burger reckoned: “I think it’s great to have the World Cup on African soil, just great for the exposure.

“I think there’s so much buzz around this World Cup and a lot of kids actually see the netball players and can have women as role models so I think it’s great.

“Africa as a continent is doing really well. You can’t take teams like Uganda and Malawi lightly and Zimbabwe – they’re all forces to be reckoned with, so I think it’s good bringing it to South Africa – and Africa as well.”

Burger was loathe to make any predictions as to how the SPAR Proteas will fare at the Netball World Cup 2023, simply saying: “I would rather say less and let them perform… I think on the day we have the potential to do really well.

“I really hope we do well in our pool because that’s going to set the bar for what lies ahead. I think we’ve got a few important games and I wish the team all the best.”

The Netball World Cup 2023 takes place from 28th July to 6th August at the Cape Town International Convention Centre. Details on tickets and travel packages and more information on the tournament are all available on the official website ( with a range of tickets and packages still on offer.